By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijani male wrestlers have taken the first place at the Yasar Dogu memorial tournament held in Istanbul, Turkey on January 10-12.
The country was represented by 26 athletes who won five gold, two silver and nine bronze medals.
Azerbaijani male wrestlers won four gold, one silver and six bronze awards becoming the winners of the tournament with the overall 108 points.
Abubakr Abakarov (79 kg) Aslanbek Alborov (92 kg) and Jamaladdin Magomedov (125 kg) grabbed gold medals on the last day of the competition. Another national wrestler Intigam Velizade (61 kg) won silver medal, while Hajimurad Hajiyev (74 kg) and Shamil Zubairov (92 kg) won a bronze medal.
Previously, Ali Rahimzade (65 kg) won a gold medal, while Afgan Khashalov (57 kg), Turan Bayramov (65 kg), Agahuseyn Mustafayev (70 kg) and Osman Nurmagomedov (86 kg) won bronze.
The national female wrestlers won one gold, one silver and three bronze in the tournament with 99 points and took the 2nd place in the team classification, second to Turkey. On the second day of the tournament, Elis Manolova (65 kg) became the winner of the tournament. Turkan Nasirova (50 kg) and Irina Netreba (68 kg) took third places. On the last day of the women's competition, Azerbaijani wrestler Tatiana Omelchenko 62 (kg) won the silver medal, whereas Elmira Gambarova, who performed in the same category, won a bronze medal.
Wrestling remains the most popular sport in Azerbaijan and is overseen by the National Wrestling Federation, which was established in 1993.The Rio Games opened a new page in wrestling for Azerbaijan.
The country became one of the only two nations ever to increase the number of medals achieved in five consecutive Games. Azerbaijan left Rio de Janeiro with a total of 18 medals. Nine of these medals were gained by the national wrestling team.
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